Somehow I managed to convince some of my lovely, young university mates to start training for a big, bloody hike way back in February. The mission: walk 55km of hills through a huge National Park close to home, the aim being to raise money to help reduce poverty around the world. The Oxfam Trailwalker event being the catalyst. Needless to say, on game day (as the photo shows above) we were a heady mix of excited, pensive and delusional. We had trained consistently a few times a week, but walked no further than 32km in one stretch.
The first half of the hike went well, happy to be out on the trail and feeling better than expected, we were buoyed by the atmosphere of other hikers and a whole lot of chocolate. In the second half the cracks started to show; bung knees, blisters, nausea, gut cramps and fluctuating emotions set in. At the 44km mark, as we walked with head torches in the dark and foggy bush, the rain set in. A few hours of heavy rain and lightening, random cursing, heavy breathing up two final bastards of a hill, we crossed the line. Eighteen hours of walking – definitely not the speediest in the pack – but we made it! We hugged, we cried, we air punched like idiots, then we all collapsed. The thought of training for the alternative 100km next year now firmly pushed to the ‘why would you do that to yourself’ pile.
I just wanted to compile my favourite images from months of training in different forests, plus a few from the big day before things got un-photogenic. I can’t thank you three enough for sharing such an adventure with me. You all rock x
Also, a HUGE thank you to everyone who donated to us, your money will help a lot of very needy people. If you are interested in finding out more about the Oxfam event you might get a little inspiration from these photos too.